Better rainfall led to lower thermal power demand in October: Minister

The Centre on Wednesday dismissed media reports of a slowdown in the thermal power sector and said that the lower demand in October resulted due to increasing consumption of renewable energy and hydroelectricity.

In a series of tweets, Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy R K Singh said the Central government has added renewables and fall in demand of thermal power was to be attributed to the reduced dependency on thermal sources of energy. "I dismiss the reports of thermal power demand slowdown. We have brought flexibilization and took major steps to reduce inefficiency in the sector... Statement that the lower demand in October was indicative of a slowdown in the economy is nonsensical," he said.

The minister also attributed the fall in demand to an increase in rainfall during the agricultural season. "In October, the rainfall was 35 per cent more than the previous year, thus the agriculture demand for power fell, leading to the demand in October being lower than the corresponding demand last," he said.

"The period April-October 2019 saw the highest growth in hydroelectricity generation in 5 years at 16 per cent. Renewable energy generation grew by 5 per cent in the same period. Naturally, this reduced load on coal or thermal power plants. The resulted lower PLF in the thermal power plant is the result of our changing generation mix, consciously done to lower our carbon footprints," the minister tweeted.

Singh further said that overall power generation grew by 7.4 per cent in the first quarter and 1.6 per cent in the second quarter of the current financial year.

The minister also said that the "theory of economic slowdown" was produced by "ill-informed and motivated people.

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